Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Inspired By...Challenge Of Music

Challenge of Music: select a song and create an accessory that evokes that theme song.

When it comes to music, I gravitate towards punk, ska, new wave 80's and new rave. Green Day, The Toasters, Duran Duran and The Sunshine Underground are my favorite bands in those genre. Their styles define my taste in music. But when it comes to selecting a song that inspires me, there has always been one that speaks to me like no other. It reminds me of all the wonderful people, places and things I love in this world. I hear it playing in my head from time to time. I sometimes (very poorly) sing it in the shower or as I am working on designs in my studio. It makes me happy when I am sad. It reminds me of all that I am grateful for. It is my anthem....What a wonderful world!

Louis Armstrong first recorded "What a wonderful world" in 1968. The song was written by George David Weiss and Bob Thiele (as George Douglas). It actually was a bigger hit in the United Kingdom, where it reached number one on the music charts, than it was in the United States. This was due to ABC Records not liking the song and therefore did not promote it.

So when I signed up for Erin Prais-Hintz's Challenge of Music,  it wasn't long afterwards that I knew this would be the song I would choose.  As I mentioned earlier, "What a wonderful world" reminds me of all that I am grateful for.

So I thought about key events in my life;

 ...those that make me smile:
annual family vacation and my wedding day

 ...the ones that define me:
my BFA in photojournalism
and our first home

and decided to create a bracelet.

So I printed out photos of these key events in my life:
-me with my family after my college graduation at RIT
-annual vacation with my husband's family in the Adirondack Mountains
-the day I married my one true love beside the Concord Point Lighthouse
-the first home Brenton and I bought in Maryland and the dog we adopted (and love more than anything)

I glued the photos into Tierra Cast frames that I purchased from Rio Grande with Diamond Glaze from The Queen's Ink. I then attached them to a really fun circle chain from Lima Beads, adding drilled seeds that I purchased from my favorite local bead shop in Maryland, The Twisted Bead. The matte silver ball headpins are from CLBeads. I finished the bracelet with a Blue Moon clasp from JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts.

The addition of the seeds, in case you are wondering, represents life and new beginnings. I lot of aspects of my life have the color brown incorporated into them ie; my wedding colors, my business packaging, the furniture in my house, RIT's school colors. Bizarre coincidence, if I do say so myself!

I added a tiny tag with the word "Life" on it. I created it with tin that I purchased from Old Forge Hardware and a metal stamp that I purchased from Fire Mountain Gems.

I really enjoyed participating in this wonderful blog hop created by the lovely and ultra talented Erin Prais-Hintz. Please check out the other participants:

Erin Prais-Hintz
Marcie Abney
Christine Altmiller
Elisabeth Auld
Lori Bowring Michaud
Shannon Chomanczuk
Cece Cormier
Jenny Davies-Reazor
Malin de Koning
Beth Emery
Michelle Escano-Caballer
Erin Fickert-Rowland
Therese Frank
Amy Freeland
Tanya Goodwin
Stephani Gorman
Amy Grass
Beth Hemmila
Kristina Johansson
Jennifer Justman
Tari Kahrs
Susan Kennedy
Ema Kilroy
Kathleen Lange Klik
Kirsi Luostarinen
Paige Maxim
Beth McCord
Natalie McKenna
Alice Peterson
Cat Pruitt
Bobbie Rafferty
Johanna Rhodes
Cynthia Riggs
Sally Russick
Sarah Sequins
Amy Severino
Staci Smith
Kristen Stevens
Lola Surwillo
Stefanie Teufel
Sandi Volpe
Holly Westfall
Shaiha Williams

Friday, February 24, 2012

Winter Weather In Virginia

Last week a layer of ice formed on the lake outside my house. It created a really unique, yet bizarre pattern.

The pattern and colors inspired me. These beads came to mind...


Since I do not have my studio completely set up (sigh), I have not been able to create anything in several weeks (sigh, again). In the meantime I have been writing/sketching ideas into a journal and setting beads that inspire me aside in a "creative ideas" box. My goal is to finish my studio this weekend as I have pieces to create for Erin Prais-Hintz's Challenge of Music and Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Block Party.

Today, the temperature is predicted to reach 73 degrees. Gotta love winter in Virginia!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I am honored that my bracelet titled "Awakening" was selected for the Spring issue of Jewelry Stringing magazine! It is included with 16 other fantastic designs on pages 46-47. This is the first time I have had one of my designs published in Stringing!

I created the bracelet last Fall with Spring in mind. I titled it Awakening because that was how I felt as I strayed from my usual symetric style. The design is completely asymmetrical...and I couldn't feel more balanced!

This issue is filled with so many breathtaking spring inspirations! If you haven't picked up a copy or downloaded the digital version, I highly recommend it. You'll love it!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Inspired By Bead Soup Ingredients...

The ingredients for my bead soup have arrived from my super talented BSBP partner Karyn Lewis Bonfiglio of Plus Size Bangles! She sent an awesome assortment in hues that remind me of a summer sunset. The package included a beautiful note card with a snowy owl on it, my favorite kind of owl.

Some of the nature inspired beauties that Karyn sent were a gorgeous brass sunflower, brass leaves, an oxidized wing stamping and some really cool carnelian calla lily beads. I have never seen calla lilly beads before and can't wait to work with them! She also sent some o-rings, coral colored Swarovski pearls, a tagua nut pendant, an orange colored wood ring, some really beautifully carved wood beads, and 8mm mahogany agate beads.

Check out the awesome brass sunflower pendant! It immediately caught my eye, not only because of the size (it is 3" in diameter) but also because it is so gosh darn beautiful! While my style is generally bold, this will be the largest element I have ever worked with-can't wait!

I love the detail of the carved wood and agate beads!

She sent a stunning red bronze hook and eye clasp-love it!

As an added bonus, Karyn also sent some really unique large serpentine diamond shaped beads, yellow turquoise wavy oval beads and square beads. I tend to salivate over large stone beads, so it will be fun to work with these!

I am really inspired by the bead soup that Karyn sent and can't wait to put my ideas into form! Here is a preview of what I sent Karyn. For more details, visit her inspiring blog.

Happy creating everyone!